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Google AdSense Forum

This 118 message thread spans 4 pages: 118 ( [1] 2 3 4 > >     
Is G fighting MFAs? Adsense and Blogspot: No wonder.
Might as well ask for MFAs directly

 6:29 am on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I didn't quite realize how bad it was until I just read something. One of the easiest ways to get an adsense account is to open a blog on blogger.com and ask G for an account. How can anyone believe G has any problem with MFAs whatsoever if they keep the bar so low that anyone with a blogger account gets in?

If this program is for the real, honest webmaster, only let real sites in.

Didn't blogger just have an enormous splog problem that had to be shut down? These are the same people running MFAs. They can post a few words on blogger.com, apply for an account and then start building MFAs. I mean, come on G.

Remember how thorough they were in the beginning to get an account? Boy have things changed.



 6:38 am on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

What exactly does MFA stand for? I guess I'm still a newb

Anyways, Google is probably worried about yahoo publisher and msn coming in the picture and trying to take anything that has a chance of being profitable now or in the future. Or maybe they are just really confident in their fake click filter.


 7:50 am on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

MFA stands for Made For Adsense, these type of sites are usually autogenrated with some kind of script or software. As far as I know they still approve your account when you apply via blogger.


 7:52 am on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

mfa = made for adsense

soon there will be:
mfy - made for ypn
mfm - made for msn-adcenter

somebody will have to set the bar a bit higher for mfc sites (made for contextual advertisements) when the other players are out of beta.


 2:45 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Put this in a broader context: Google is killing the Internet. And lining their pockets doing it.

Go ahead and have a conversation with any Internet user outside of our "loop", and I bet you will hear 9 out of 10 of them lament that the Internet has gotten spammy because of these "Google Ads".

Do a search for anything and most likely you will get 10 pages of MFAs. And not only searching in G either. Search in most other search engines, and you'll most likely get 10 pages of MFA crap. It is clear that Google is devaluing the Internet.

It will hit the fan one day and something will happen that will adress this, such as:

1) Either somebody will build a search engine that will not spider pages with Google ads on them.

2) Maybe MSN will release the next version of IE7 and make it block all Google ads by default, or block them in the Hosts file included in the next Windows update/release. Sure, of course I can spell "AntiTrust", but one really wouldn't think that MS cares less about lawsuits, and I wouldnt put this past them. Remember that MS wrote the book in the first place.

3) Another major browser will block all Google ads by default.

In any case, Google has not only killed Blogspot, it is sucessfully killing the Internet, but allowing MFAs, splogs, and scrapers. Enjoy the $$ while you can.


 3:05 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google isn't killing the Internet; greedy Website owners are. Yesterday it was boilerplate affiliate sites, today it's made-for-AdSense sites, and tomorrow it'll be something else.

And while it's true that Google's permissive AdSense policies have resulted in a lot of junk sites, we also need to remember that AdSense is the first viable revenue opportunity for small content publishers in thousands of niches. AdSense has turned many "hobby publishers" into professional publishers, and Google deserves credit for that.


 3:20 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well said MaxGoldie.


 3:20 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Web users adjust. They read the descriptions and look at the domain name to better determine what to click. While I agree that the situation is getting worse, the alternative to gathering information (in the most time efficient manner) over the web is a far distant 2nd.

Looking at Google and Yahoo searches, it's not too terribly bad at this point. If you want to see a mess, look at MSN for highly competitive keywords.


 3:26 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is really stupid. How many f...cking MFA sites that are hosted at blogger.com do you know? That's right, rogue publishers buy their own domains and screw internet up that way. Blogger.com has never been a major source of MFA sites, no matter how you try to slice it. As far is Google killing internet it's the same logic that Ford promotes road accidents, because, you know, you drive drunk, crash your car, so you need to get another one. It's all because of Ford. or GM or Chrysler. Or Toyota. Or BMW. Or...


 3:28 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

maxgoldie, you sound bitter. Is your commment based on a bad experience?

I've personally never heard average Internet uers complain about Google ads. I HAVE heard people complain about popunders and flashing ads, which are still present on the Internet in significant numbers.

And in the grand scheme of things, auto-installed spyware and malware and scumware of all kinds has had a far more negative impact on the Internet than Google ads....

I'm as cynical about the motives of big businesses like Google as anyone, but I think you're ignoring some more substantial negative forces.


 4:02 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)


I didn't say the MFA sites were hosted at blogger. I said they write a few words in blogger, then apply for an account, then they start building MFAs. The MFA guys are pros. They have their own domains in general. Blogger is a convenient cover.

Would you be saying this is stupid if Google started allowing Geocities sites in? Or if Yahoo let geocities sites into YPN? Because this is the same thing.

The most ridiculous move Adsense has made ever.


 4:03 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

David, that analogy isn't a good one: drunk driving, and the car manufacturers responsibility for their crimes. Obviously, the car manufacturer has no responsibility for what car owners do with their own cars. But the Adsense publishers who run MFAs do not own the Adsense code, or do they have any proprietary rights over it.

A better analogy would be:

A car rental agency rents cars lots of cars, more than anyone else in its industry. It does this by having the most lax standards in who it chooses to rent cars to. But it also happens that this car company's vehicles are involved at significant levels in traffic accidents.

This obviously hurts/undermines driver confidence in the safety of our roadways, not to mention creating a quality of life issue for everyone on the roads.

Then, the car rental agency refuses crack down and get more stringent with who it rents cars to. This is analogous to Google refusing to crack down on MFAs and also its mindless policy of just reviewing the one initial site to get accepted into the program. The car rental agency, like Google, absolves itself from any further responsibility other than making money. You know that bit about "the ends justifying the means"?

hunderdown, I fully admit that I am bitter, but not because of a bad Adsense experience, more because of what has happened to the Internet, largely, solely because of Google lax policies (not to mention their lax enforcement on MFAs).

I do agree with you that there are other substantial negative forces out their, such as human nature.

EFV, I do agree with you that Google does deserve lots of praise for other things, such as pioneering contextual advertising. I just saddens me that all because of the meddling of myopic bean counters, they create a lot of loopholes for abuse, and then do nothing to deal with it. I agree with you here fully.

My fear is that diligent publishers are also suffering because eventually the consumer might just view all Google ads as spam, if the number of spam MFAs proportionately outweigh the number of legitimate sites. That seems like a cogent assertion to me at least.


 4:40 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Blogger.Com is actually OWNED by Google. Why in the world would google would not allow anyone with blogger account run AdSense? The "Blogger as cover" theory does not hold water. I costs 8 bucks to buy a domain and 4 bucks for hosting. If you are looking for "cover" simply scrape an entire site and upload it to a domain you purchase. I have NEVER heard anyone compain about MFA sites hosted by Blogger. MFAs aren't created by Google. People create MFAs. A few months ago I read an article in The New York Times that had one cop complaining that most crooks how sell stolen merchandize via eBay. We all know about Nigerian and Romanian scams at eBay. Does that mean that eBay somehow makes stealing or scamming easier or promotes theft? Adsense was created for decent publishers. It does in fact punishes MFA sites by smart pricing. Look, do any search at search.msn.com and you'll see plenty of spammy sites, more than Google and Yahoo, anyway. Does it mean that Microsoft promotes spam?


 4:51 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

MFAs aren't created by Google. People create MFAs.

And Google is the enabler by the fact of not policing their *own system* adequately.

The "Blogger as cover" theory does not hold water.

It does if you acknowledge the fact that no webmaster (whether or not they own their own domain, site, or hosting) has legal ownership of the Adsense code. Google is allowing webmasters to use its property, this code, for a purpose. Then when it comes to their attention that a sizeable portion of the users of their code misuse it, they seem to do nothing about it. This, to me, is enabling.

Does that mean that eBay somehow makes stealing or scamming easier or promotes theft?

This remains to be seen. If they acknowledge that they have a problem and refuse to address it, then yes, they do "makes stealing or scamming easier or promotes theft".


 5:01 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)


You totally missed my point. But you have a right to your opinion.

So for the record, you'd be OK with Yahoo accepting a geocities site "owner" for a YPN account? Yahoo owns geocities, so the analogy is perfect.


 5:26 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have NEVER heard anyone compain about MFA sites hosted by Blogger

Are you serious? I've written dozens of DMCA complaints for Blogger sites. They all have AdSense and the creators built them to produce what they think will be high-paying ads.


 5:29 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't understand the issue of "Google owns the code."
How is it relevant? Do DVD makers promote piracy because one can copy DVDs? Are movie theaters reponsible for piracy because people can smuggle a camera inside?
Are movie festivals responsible, because they send out DVDs to the jury members and at least one person was caught that it was his "festival" copy that was copied?
All the evidence suggests that AdSense team is rather small. It's obvious that hiring more and more people isn't the answer. We know that MFA sites, at least some of them, get smart-priced into oblivion.
I still don't see how Google is responsible. Just imagine that tomorrow Google AdSense will kick out every MFA site from AdSense? Will this make all these site go away? NO! They will still exist, albeit without AdSense code. What are you going to say then?


 5:31 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

{quote]And Google is the enabler by the fact of not policing their *own system* adequately.[/quote]

We used to hear complaints that Google was dumping publishers right and left, and now we're hearing complaints that Google isn't dumping enough publishers. The people at the plex are damned if they do and damned if they don't. :-)

Seriously, it's easy to complain that Google isn't policing the network adequately, and I'm inclined to agree. At the same time, we have to remember that spammers, scrapers, etc. are like drug dealers: No matter how many you nab, you'll never eliminate them coupletely. So maybe it makes sense for Google to use smart pricing and/or its compensation formula to make MFA junk sites less profitable--and, in the process, to maintain an adequate pool of cheap clicks (via smart pricing) to serve the largest possible number of advertisers.


 5:35 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

beren is exactly right: and when the people creating these sites learn that they are not bringing high-paying ads, they then apply a "carpet bombing" strategy and build hundreds of these sites each.

Then it becomes a matter of simple economics that the rate of growth of MFAs exponentiate faster than that of legitimate sites, simply because one has to build more of them for there to be any measureable profit.


 5:36 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)


I agree with your last post pretty much. But do you feel that blogger.com is appropriate for the adsense network? I remember early on you were one who spoke vocally against adsense being open to just anyone.


 5:45 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a client in the healthcare industry, for whom I run a pretty sizeable AdWords account, in addition to trying to keep them in fairly good shape in the organics. It's a highly competitive field, with a lot of movement back and forth; I am constantly tweaking things. I have run into at least a dozen MFA blogspot sites in the past couple weeks, all of whom suddenly showed up ranked extremely high in our field, all of which consist of nothing but a bunch of medical and drug related keywords (which are expensive) or scraped articles from government health sites. I'm not saying it's Google's fault, or Blogger's fault, but they DO exist, they ARE proliferating at an alarming rate, and they ARE getting (at least for the moment) to the top of the search engines. What's more, they're also getting highly ranked in MSN (haven't noticed it in Yahoo as yet). If you haven't seen them as a problem in your particular area yet, just wait - you will.


 5:48 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't understand the issue of "Google owns the code."

It is core to my argument: using property owned by someone else for an illegitimate purpose, with the owner of the property having knowledge of that illegitimate usage and failing to do anything within reasonable means to curtail that illegitimate usage, is tantamount to vicarious liability.

The debate here is, or course, what our opinions are as to how far Google is going within reasonable means to curtail that illegitimate usage. Or, even if we consider creating junk websites simply to paste Adsense ads on them, should be considered "illegitimate". If you don't think that this is illegitimate, then we are not on the same page. But Google would agree with me here, as its TOS states (clearly) that MFAs are illegitimate.

Just imagine that tomorrow Google Adsense will kick out every MFA site from Adsense? Will this make all these site go away? NO! They will still exist, albeit without Adsense code. What are you going to say then?

Then I would say, based on my reasoning above, that Google is acting within reasonable means towards its (vicarious) responsibility to the usage of its property. Then I would say, Google deserves credit for increasing the value of its product, and the quality of the Internet at large.


 5:54 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Let me quote this weeks article from Salon.Com
This is the opening paragraph
So maybe you think Web-based e-mail, Internet cafes and disposable cellphones are cool. Guess what? So do terrorists, cocaine dealers and sex-slave traders.

Clearly it's a question of technology that can be used both ways.


 5:54 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Agreed. The problem won't go away totally. But when Google is begging blogger account holders to open adsense accounts, they can't pretend they even care about quality.

Question: How many quality blogs do you follow? Of those, how many are hosted at Blogger?

I have hundreds in my feed and can't think of any that are blogger.com in any recognizable way. Maybe a few of the google employees are using it, like shellen perhaps.


 5:56 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

What the hell is wrong with blogger.com? How is it suddenly being blamed for anything? Where's your evidence that it's being used as a cover for people spamming AdSense in other ways? Besides, what's stopping spammers from simply creating or copying ANY simple site and signing up with that?

I'm certainly not a fan of the scraper sites and datafeed sites that have sprung up over the past few years (I'm 100% sure Google isn't either), but in the end there could be an unlimited number of these sites and it wouldn't really matter - because the limiting factor isn't the number of pages you have, it's the amount of traffic you can generate. That's why this is an issue for Google's search engine algos. Shutting down their ability to generate traffic is the only way to remove any incentive for creating them.


 6:03 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Clearly it's a question of technology that can be used both ways.

So are peer-to-peer networks, but the trend there has been to police them past the point where it's worth their while to stay alive.


 6:03 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

jomaxx, you are right, but a lot of spammers now live off MSN traffic, so Google's search algo doesn't concern them. Still, it's not Google's fault in any way. Google does not promote MFA sites. People take advantage of AdSense money making opportunities. It's the same with online shopping. People set up fake stores to steal credit card numbers. You can say that it's someones oblication (let's say webhosts) to make sure the site is legit before it goes online, but it's just not gonna happen. It's the same with spyware. We can blame Bill Gates, Symantec, Internet providers that spyware thrives and come up with some theoretical ways to curtail it, but it ain't gonna happen util you find a real cure.


 6:10 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can show you plenty of smaller p2p that you can use to copy any copyrighted material. But p2p and AdSense are entirely different. Nobody will sue Google because some idiot stole their site content and put AdSense on it. Had this been happenning (as with Napster and Grokster) Google would be forced to pay millions and then AdSense wouldn't be open to regular folks like me and you - only official publications from large publishing houses would carry the ads.


 6:19 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

* Still, it's not Google's fault in any way.*

It gives both the means and the motivation, what's not to fault?


 6:20 pm on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Jomaxx, David,

So you think it was a positive move for the quality of Adsense to make it so easy to open an account that you just need a blogger account? Are you honestly trying to make that case?

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